HER and INTERSTELLAR Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema to Replace Roger Deakins on BOND 24; May Shoot on Film

by     Posted 6 days ago

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It was incredibly disappointing to hear that cinematographer Roger Deakins would not be returning for Bond 24 after doing such a stunning job on Skyfall.  However, as production on the next Bond installment is poised to get underway in December, director Sam Mendes has now settled on Deakins’ replacement, and it’s an excellent choice.  In Contention reports that Hoyte van Hoytema will be the cinematographer on Bond 24, marking yet another fantastic notch in what’s becoming a heck of a run in the director of photography’s career.  The Dutch-Swedish cinematographer first came to prominence for shooting the original Let the Right One In, going on to do equally arresting work on films like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and last year’s Her.  Most recently, though, he nabbed his most high profile film to date as Christopher Nolan hand-picked him to replace his longtime collaborator Wally Pfister on the upcoming Interstellar.

And not only is Hoytema a brilliant choice to shoot Bond 24, but the movie might actually be shooting on film this time around.  More after the jump.

James D’Arcy Will Play Jarvis in Marvel’s AGENT CARTER TV Series

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Marvel Studios’ second foray into network television, the ABC series Agent Carter, is poised to start production soon, but the show has just now added a key cast member.  Variety reports that Cloud Atlas actor James D’Arcy has signed on to play Howard Stark’s Butler Jarvis—yes, that Jarvis—in the period spy drama.  D’Arcy will bring flesh and blood to what is likely the basis for Tony Stark’s virtual butler in the MCU, though that’s due to change in Avengers: Age of Ultron when the movie Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) takes on the form of The Vision.  More on Agent Carter after the jump.

Brie Larson and Ben Kingsley Set for BROOKLYN BRIDGE; LEFTOVERS Star Joins Shane Black’s NICE GUYS; PAPER TOWNS Finds Female Lead

by     Posted 6 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • The excellent Brie Larson and Sir Ben Kingsley have been set to star opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the real-life drama Brooklyn Bridge.
  • The Leftovers actress Margaret Qualley has landed a role in writer/director Shane Black’s 1970s-set crime drama The Nice Guys.
  • Model/actress Cara Delevingne has been set to play the female lead in Fox 2000’s upcoming adaptation of the John Green novel Paper Towns.

More on the aforementioned casting after the jump.

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass Reuniting for BOURNE 5; LEGACY Sequel Delayed

by     Posted One week ago

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Hell has indeed frozen over.  We’ve heard Matt Damon say many, many times that he would only consider returning for Bourne 5 if director Paul Greengrass came back, and we’ve heard Greengrass say many, many times that there was no more creative story left in the world of Jason Bourne.  Now it appears that they’ve stumbled upon an idea worth exploring, as Universal Pictures is currently in the process of making deals for both Damon and Greengrass to reunite on another Bourne picture—their third together.  Moreover, Universal is so bullish on this prospect that the plan is to have this ready in time for release in 2016.  So where does this leave the Bourne Legacy sequel with Jeremy Renner?  More after the jump.

Not a Joke: I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER Remake on the Way

by     Posted One week ago

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Trends come and go in Hollywood, but one of the most striking in my memory is the self-aware horror movie boom of the mid to late 1990s.  This was, of course, due to the massive success of Wes Craven’s excellent Scream in 1996, and spurred teen-centric, reference-heavy films like Urban Legend, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and of course I Know What You Did Last Summer (also written by Scream scribe Kevin Williamson).  These weren’t good movies per se, but they had their B movie-level charms.  Now Hollywood is keen on resurrecting one such property, and they’ve settled on an I Know What You Did Last Summer remake for some reason.  Sony Pictures has already hired Oculus writer/director Mike Flanagan to write and produce the slasher redo and alongside Fast & Furious producer Neal Moritz.  More after the jump.

Leslie Mann Is Audrey Griswold in VACATION; Billy Bob Thornton Joins OUR BRAND IS CRISIS; Ben Foster Enlists for FINEST HOURS

by     Posted One week ago

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We’ve got a trio of intriguing casting stories to share this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Leslie Mann will play the grown-up version of Audrey Griswold in the upcoming Vacation reboot.
  • Billy Bob Thornton is in talks to join Sandra Bullock in director David Gordon Green’s (Prince Avalanche) political drama Our Brand Is Crisis.
  • Ben Foster is the latest actor to join the cast of Disney’s coast guard drama The Finest Hours.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned castings.

EFFIE GRAY Trailer: Emma Thompson Returns to British Period Dramas in Grim Fashion

by     Posted One week ago

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The first Effie Gray trailer for director Richard Laxton’s (Burton and Taylor) significantly delayed period drama has arrived.  Written by Emma Thompson, the film is a biopic of Effie Gray (played by Dakota Fanning) that centers on her doomed marriage to art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in 1840s London.  Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastate Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter John Everett Milias (Tom Sturridge).  Thompson won an Oscar for starring in 1992’s Howards End and another for writing 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, and she returns to the “British Period Drama” genre with Effie Gray.  The film looks to be considerably grim and feels slightly reminiscent of the drab and dull Therese, but there is certainly a strong pedigree behind it, so here’s hoping it’s worth the wait.

Watch the Effie Gray trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Robbie Coltrane, Claudia Cardinale, James Fox, Julie Walters, Derek Jacobi, and David Suchet.  While a U.S. release date is still pending, the pic is slated to open in the UK on October 10th.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Banner Lays Out the Final Stand

by     Posted One week ago

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A brand new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies banner has been released, detailing the epic scope of the final film in director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.  This banner reminds of the one that was released for An Unexpected Journey before the adaptation was turned into a trilogy, which gave us a look at how this series would have been structured as a diptych.  Judging by this massive banner for Five Armies, Jackson plans on going out with a bang in his final foray into Middle-earth, but I’ll always wonder if this adaptation might’ve been more compelling if the director had stuck to two films.  Forget the extended edition Blu-rays, I’d love to see an abridged version that cuts the trilogy into two movies.

Anyway, hit the jump to take a look at the ginormous The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies banner.  The film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Cate BlanchettThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies storms into theaters in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

First BY THE SEA Images Reveal Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as a Married Couple

by     Posted One week ago

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Newlyweds Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are revealed as a not-so-happily-married couple onscreen in the very first By the Sea images from their new film.  Jolie wrote, produces, and is directing the feature, which takes place in 1970s France and revolves around a marriage that’s collapsing on itself.  Jolie plays a former dancer and Pitt plays an American writer, and the story finds the disenchanted couple growing closer together in a quiet seaside town as they meet its inhabitants and begin sharing stories.  Cinematographer Christian Berger (The White Ribbon) is shooting the film using mostly natural light, and the supporting cast includes Niels Arestrup (War Horse) and Richard Bohringer (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover).

Check out the first By the Sea images after the jump, along with an explanation from Jolie as to why she chose to set the film in the 1970s.  The pic is currently in production in Malta and will be released by Universal Pictures sometime next year.

David Fincher Says He Cast Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL for His Experience with Public Scrutiny; Talks Walking a Satirical Line

by     Posted One week ago

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Director David Fincher’s Gone Girl is my most anticipated film from the rest of 2014.  I like Gillian Flynn’s book well enough, but it seems to be a fantastic foundation on which Fincher could build something truly special.  As the film’s October 3rd release date looms closer, we’ve started hearing rumblings about what Fincher’s adaptation entails, including more than a few mentions of the word “satire”. The filmmaker recently took part in an interview for the film in which he was candid about his tonal aspirations and why he cast Ben Affleck in the lead role.

Specifically, Fincher admits that Affleck’s experience of being under public scrutiny was an invaluable resource for playing the character of Nick Dunne—a man who becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance—and also discusses how the crux of the film is about “the idea of our collective narcissism as it relates to coupling.”  Read on after the jump.

The Rebellion Takes Flight in Full-Length THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Trailer

by     Posted One week ago

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Lionsgate has released the full-length The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer for the first half of director Francis Lawrence’s conclusion to the Hunger Games franchise.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Francis Lawrence surprised the hell out of me with Catching Fire, which I thought was hands-down the best “tentpole” film of last year, and so I have high hopes for his adaptation of Mockingjay (the weakest book of the trilogy).  What strikes me most about this trailer is that the film appears to be in the vein of an action pic, whereas Catching Fire was more of a thriller and the first film was essentially a survival movie.  District 13 isn’t exactly a cinematic location and there’s a lot of bunker-set scenes in the book, so I’m very curious to see what changes have been made in the feature film adaptation.  The pic looks rather epic in scope, and I imagine Mockingjay – Part 1 will be the most intense and largest scale entry in the franchise yet.  Hold on to your butts.

Hit the jump to watch the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer.  The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st.

ALL THAT JAZZ Criterion Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 8 days ago

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All That Jazz is a masterpiece.  The film transcends genre, as it’s a perfect blend of musical, dark comedy, biopic and fantasy.  It’s a self-portrait, really, of co-writer and director Bob Fosse, and it’s made all the more impressive by the fact that it marked the second to last feature film from the man who had already helmed films like Cabaret, Sweet Charity, and Damn Yankees—talk about going out with a bang.  It’s a seminal piece of cinema that is both wildly entertaining and introspective, ruminating on life and death in unique fashion, and the film has now been given the grand Criterion Collection treatment.  It’s an absolute must-own for any serious film fan.  Read my full All That Jazz Criterion Blu-ray review after the jump. 

New BATMAN V SUPERMAN Batmobile Image Charges a Stormtrooper with Grand Theft Auto

by     Posted 9 days ago

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Filmmaker Zack Snyder continues to make excellent use of social media when it comes to teasing fans, with the latest being a new Batman v Superman Batmobile image with yet another Star Wars tie-in.  This is the third such Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Star Wars mash-up, as Snyder previously tweeted a photo of Henry Cavill dressed as a Jedi and another photo of Batman hanging out with R2-D2.  This new image offers another look at Ben Affleck’s formidable-looking Batmobile, as a Stormtrooper is seen being arrested by GCPD for the theft of said vehicle.  It’s clearly a joke, but Snyder seems to be laying on the Star Wars love pretty thick.  Is he simply a big fan, or could those long-ago rumors of a Snyder-helmed Star Wars spinoff have some truth to them?  Whatever the case, the filmmaker’s tied up in the DC universe for the next few years as he’s poised to shoot Justice League directly after BvS.

Take a look at the new Batman v Superman Batmobile image after the jump.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice storms into theaters on March 25, 2016.

New TED 2 Image Promises More Flash Gordon

by     Posted 10 days ago

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While Seth MacFarlane’s second feature directorial effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, was a bit of a bust at the box office, it’s likely that his third film will do just fine.  The Family Guy creator is currently in production on the comedy sequel Ted 2, and considering the R-rated first film made over $500 million at the worldwide box office, it’s safe to assume that interest is high for the follow-up.  We still don’t really know much about the pic other than the fact that Mila Kunis has a reduced role while Amanda Seyfried takes on leading lady duties, but a new Ted 2 image has arrived thanks to star Mark Wahlberg, who shared a sneak peek on his Twitter.  The image doesn’t show Ted himself, but fans of the heavy Flash Gordon references from the first film will be pleased to know that John’s Gordon fandom has not been diminished.

Take a look at the Ted 2 image in full after the jump.  The film opens in theaters on June 26, 2015.

MERCHANTS OF DOUBT Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 10 days ago

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There is no debate over whether climate change is real.  That’s the thing about science: the facts speak for themselves.  So why do we constantly hear politicians and pundits arguing over the merits of climate change, whether it’s really happening, whether it’s man-made, or whether this is all a big conspiracy set up by the government and/or “watermelons” (aka communists disguising themselves as environmentalists)?  Perception is everything, and when you can create the perception of a debate regardless of facts, then you can cast doubt and thus alter the conversation.

In his new documentary Merchants of Doubt, director Robert Kenner shines a light on the very people that are hired to sway public perception of major issues (like climate change) for a hefty price.  While the film itself is engaging, infuriating, and oftentimes very funny, it’s ultimately a case of preaching to the choir.  It’s nice to think that those unaware of how rigged the game is will be swayed by the film, but as we see in the context of the movie itself, people choose what they want to believe, and there are plenty of outlets that will tell them what they want to hear no matter the validity.

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